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Friends and Family Everyone has disagreements, even best friends and family. If you need advice about a relationship, ask us here.

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Marguerite Offline
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Reach out or let it die? - August 13th 2011, 03:11 PM

I'm usually not one to get into trivial crap like this, but it was kind of thrust upon me.

Here it is:

Last week I posted something on my facebook about refugees (a high court decision which I was very pleased with). A friend, one who has been a friend for years, commented with something along the lines of 'ew, send them back'. I was irritated but everyone is entitled to their opinion. I responded back saying that you can't just send people back to war torn countries, and set her straight about some of the legal stuff she was saying. The actual argument isn't important, the point is I did not personally attack her. I am actually capable of having friends whose opinions differ from mine. I responded calmly, rationally, reasonably and maturely.

She, on the other hand, basically went nuts. She responded by telling me she doesn't care about my opinion (to put it nicely) and that she has her own problems with the government (irrelevent) and that I'm immoral for not caring about them basically (even when they had nothing to do with what we were talking about). Even more infuriating that I've been standing by through all of it even though everyone else has left. I'm the only friend she has left about from her ex, because as far as I can tell all her old friendships ended with a fight about this, that or the other. Then she defriended and blocked me.

My response is... what?? We've been good friends for about 5 years, we've met up to hang out, we've helped each other out with school work etc and I've been there as she's been going through a tough time the past year. She got her laptop stolen recently and my mum was running around asking people if they knew where they could get a cheap used laptop for her.

I would rather not throw away a long friendship over some stupid facebook argument but at the same time I have three concerns.

1) I don't want to be friends with someone who can't handle having a different opinion as me and I don't want to pretend to agree with her on everything just so she doesn't throw a fit.

2) I don't exactly want to be friends with someone with those kind of views anyway. I have a few friends who lean to the right but all of them have reasonable views. Hers basically sit with 'I don't like Asians' which is obviously ignorant and not at all similar to my opinion.

3) I don't want to reach out because I'm not sorry. I'm not going to go to the trouble of contacting her and say "okay, apologise now" because that's unreasonable and stupid... if she wants to apologise she can herself and as she hasn't she probably doesn't feel sorry. But I'm not going to apologise when I wasn't in the wrong.

Despite all of that she was a really good friend and I don't want a good friendship to end just because of that. I see her on tuesday for the first time since the argument (for class) and it's going to be more than awkward. So should I attempt to reach out to her or let it die? And if I do reach out what the hell do I say?


To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never, to forget

~Arundhati Roy
   
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Re: Reach out or let it die? - August 13th 2011, 03:25 PM

I wouldn't reach out. What she said/did was silly. And honestly, engaging any further would seem like a waste of time. I feel like if you were to keep quiet, she might eventually realize that what she did was dumb and that she was in the wrong. But by you reaching out to her, she may think she did nothing wrong. If you're not sorry and have nothing to apologize for, then I would let her come to you. You have your reasons why you wouldn't want to be friends with her. If she doesn't come to you, then it shows how much the friendship really means to her. One petty argument and the friendship is off? On the flip side, if you DO talk to her, I would tell her that the argument is silly and that you'd rather keep the friendship. But also let her know what upset you. Bottom line, you have your opinion and she has hers. Question is, do you have the ability to over look it to maintain a friendship?

Sorry if this confused you :/


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Re: Reach out or let it die? - August 14th 2011, 01:14 AM

While I do agree with what Lyndsee said, I'm going to touch upon something else that I noticed while reading your story. You said that your friend has basically driven everyone away, generally due to some sort of argument. Perhaps your friend is dealing with something you're not aware of, something that is causing her to act abnormally and withdraw from everyone that cares/cared about her. It sounds like she's been a good friend for the most part... it's only recently that she's been going nuts. So while I agree that you shouldn't have to reach out and demand she apologize, I think it would be a good idea to pull her aside on Tuesday and say, "Hey, I noticed that you blocked me on Facebook. That's not like you, and I'm worried. Is everything okay? Is there something going on that I, and your other friends, should know about?" You're not directly asking for an apology, but you ARE telling her that what she did wasn't okay. It also gives her a chance to ask for help and/or apologize.





   
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Re: Reach out or let it die? - August 14th 2011, 03:15 AM

The fact everyone left her/she left everyone else and now has blocked you suggests that if you want to keep the friendship, ignore the silly Facebook argument. Perhaps she has been screwed over by the government and has no trust in it anymore. Normally I wouldn't apologize but because she seems to have an issue you may be unaware of, apologizing couldn't hurt. However, if she rejects you, then you need to ask yourself whether you want to battle through something everyone else has failed to succeed at, or save yourself the time and effort.

I would put aside the fact she may be unable to handle opposing opinions because that's a minor problem. The larger problem is whether is whether or not you two maintain your relationship. Perhaps her inability to handle opposing opinions is the reason she cannot maintain relationships but that's only important if you're willing to maintain the friendship.


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Re: Reach out or let it die? - August 15th 2011, 11:31 AM

Thanks for the advice guys. I will see her tomorrow. I do know of her problems with the government and they're pretty major ones, and it's nothing she brought on herself either. Which is why I'm probably more up for reconnecting than I would otherwise. For the record I've been by her during all the crap she's been through (not saying I deserve praise for that- it's what you do when you're a friend) and I'm always really sensitive about it but personally I didn't feel it had anything to do with the conversation (it didn't) so I was shocked when she was offended.


To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never, to forget

~Arundhati Roy
   
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